According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Public Health, seniors who live alone or with one of their adult children are much less likely to receive preventive healthcare and dental care services than those who reside with their spouse, Reuters Health reports.
In the study, Denys Lau and James Kirby analyzed the medical information of more than 13,000 community-dwelling residents who were at least 65 years of age.
The research team found that the 52 percent of respondents who lived with their spouse had a significantly increased likelihood of routinely obtaining cholesterol screenings, influenza vaccinations, colorectal cancer screenings and regular dental care.
Lau told the news source that "healthcare providers should not assume that elderly patients living with their adult offspring will have adequate family resources to obtain preventive services."
He also concluded that physicians need to stress the importance of preventive care to the elderly and their families.
Regular visits to the dentist can help prevent avoidable dental health problems, such as infection, tooth decay, and cardiovascular disease, according to the American Dental Association.
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